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Old 02-12-2011, 02:33 PM   #1
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Question Reinstalling Plumbing in Jayco Truck Camper

Last spring I purchased a 1989-90 Jayco Sportster LP Truck camper. It was in very good shape but needed a lot of little things done. I began fixing it up and used it last summer for several trips. I fixed some of the wiring getting the marker lights to work, updated the truck umbilical cable, added a trickle charger to the power converter, as well as lubricating the roof lifter mechanism.

One of the biggest things it needed was plumbing. The previous owner had removed all the plumbing. All that remained was the city water inlet and the sink. I added a low boy 3 way (city/pump/manual) hand pump to the vacant hole in the counter which probably was what it originally had. I also added an external shower box and a Flojet self priming pump with a strainer. I ran reinforced vinyl tubing from the sink cabinet through the original holes to where the original (now gone) water tank was. I attached a temporary 7 gallon jug at the end of the new water line where the old tank was. Then I used barb fittings and hose clamps to plumb everything up nice. My problem is filling the tank. I'm guessing this camper basically had a simple layout of a tank and manual hand pump with a city water inlet originally. I can't find any specific details on the plumbing in the owners manual. There is no sign of a gravity water fill or plugged hole of it's former location anywhere on the RV. I also don't see a good location to mount one and be able to connect the 1" plus diameter hose to a new tank as the propane compartment or side cabinet is in the way. I've looked at many similar campers configurations to figure this out. One thing I think I've seen on other campers like Skampers brand is some kind of 3 way valve that either connects the city inlet to the handpump/faucet or the city inlet to the tank or the or the handpump/faucet to the tank. This arrangement would allow you to fill the tank from the city water, run the sink from the city water, or manually pump water from the tank. I'm not sure if this is how the RV manufacturers did it, but am looking for ideas. I have yet to find this mythical valve at an RV parts dealer. I want to come up with a simple way to fill the tank similar to my above speculation. I currently remove the whole jug and fill it outside but would like to add a slightly larger actual tank much like the original the camper came with and that would be too heavy to remove. Could anyone explain how they fill their water tank if there is no gravity fill inlet on their RV. Also, if you do have a valve like I described could you provide a manufacturer or part number where I can purchase one. Any help is appreciated. I plan to add an on demand hot water heater on the outside this season to finish off the work and will post pictures of the whole overhaul job if folks are interested. Thanks everyone.
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Old 02-12-2011, 03:44 PM   #2
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Take pictures of both sides and the front and advice will be forth coming, interior pictures of the entire camper would also be helpful .
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Old 02-12-2011, 04:27 PM   #3
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'Blue Sky' Plumbing Ideas

I haven't faced your exact, quite-interesting problem in my plumbing of Trailers and Rental Properties, but here's a few ideas that might help.

1. Two - A -> B Valves plumbed in series can permit the 3 connections you want; just not all in one Valve. The first Valve can select from 2 'inputs'. The 'output' of that Valve can then be 1 of 2 'inputs' chosen at the second Valve, the 'output' of which can go to 'whatever'. Of course, Valves don't care about the direction of flow going through them. 1 or both of these Valves could be electrically operated manually, if they're tucked away somewhere, or could energize automatically at the same time as the Pump.

2. Check Valves that allow flow in only one direction are used in Hot Water/Solar Plumbing, Radiant Floor Heating and similar applications. Perhaps they could prevent backflow into your Tank if/when that line, or another line, is pressurized from the other side of these Check Valves.

3. 'Conductance 101' tells us that several smaller Tubes will pass the same flow as a single 1" Tube when filling your Tank. Perhaps you can locate a new Fill Port w/Overflow Tube and improve upon whatever existed before while modernizing your System and simplifying maintenance. So long as they're connected together near the floor, several Tanks can be interconnected.

4. Gentle 'sweeping' Elbows restrict flow less than tight, 'hard' 90 Elbows. Keep this in mind should you plumb several parallel Tubes together as a Fill Tube.

When I tackle a project like this, I sit down and imagine what 'Murphy's Law' situations/oversights could flood me out if/when I get distracted. For example, on a Cistern project of mine, I flipped over Rain Monitors designed for 'pausing' Sprinkler Systems so I could shut off Pump Controls when the Cistern Tanks topped off full.

Other interesting upgrades...

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jayco, plumbing, pump, truck camper, water fill

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